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After much speculation over his future, Kingsley Coman has signed a deal to stay at Bayern Munich until 2027. The French winger is the latest in a line of younger Bayern players to extend, as the champions plan ahead.
Letting a player's contract edge closer to expiration can be a dangerous game. Few players demonstrate that more than Kingsley Coman, who left hometown club Paris Saint-Germain on a free in 2014, only to score the Champions League final winner against them for Bayern Munich six years later.
There were times when it looked like the Frenchman, who went to Juventus in between PSG and Bayern, might move on again with interest rising as his value dropped in line with a contract expiring in 2023. But, on Wednesday, the 25-year-old committed his future to Bayern.
"I'm very happy because FC Bayern are one of the best clubs in the world and I know we still have a lot of opportunities and big goals here," Coman said on the club's website. "I've been at the club since 2015 -- it feels like a big family. Everything is perfect here. My best years as a footballer are still ahead of me, and I'm glad I'll be spending them at FC Bayern."
While the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann has seen Coman enjoy one of his most productive periods in a Bayern shirt, this season has been something of a microcosm of his time in Bavaria. He's missed eight of the club's 18 league games this term with various ailments and injuries but still managed to make significant impact when fit, scoring his four league goals at a rate of one every 131 minutes so far. Bayern have seen enough to feel his ability trumps any injury concerns.
"Players with Kingsley Coman's ability are wanted by clubs all around the world," said club CEO Oliver Kahn. "This contract extension is another example of how attractive our club is at the highest level internationally. [...] World-class players consider very carefully where they sign their contracts these days."
Though Coman's renewal was the subject of more speculation than most, Bayern have been busy ensuring the younger members of their squad are in it for the long haul. Joshua Kimmich (26), Leon Goretzka (26), Josip Stanisic (21) and Jamal Musiala (18) have all signed new long-term deals in the past 12 months. Alphonso Davies (21) penned an extension in 2020, Serge Gnabry (26) is expected to follow suit shortly while newer signings Leroy Sane (26) and Dayot Upamecano (23) already have plenty of time left on their deals.
Succession plans have long been important at Bayern, as they are at every club. But few have done it so well. Gnabry and Coman were eased in to the wide attacking positions when Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were winding down their Bayern careers. The vacancies left by the aging Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng have been filled by Upamecano and Niklas Süle, while the emergence of Davies made David Alaba's departure easier to manage.
Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller are the last men standing from the Pep Guardiola and first Jupp Heynckes era and show few signs of regression. But Bayern's transfer planning in recent years suggests replacements have been earmarked regardless.
While such foresight has enabled Bayern to remain dominant domestically and consistent challengers in Europe, the cases of Süle and Corentin Tolisso are proof that transfer dealing is an imperfect trade.
A mainstay since arriving from Hoffenheim in 2017, Süle's contract expires at the end of this season, meaning the 26-year-old is free to speak to other clubs and sign a pre-contract agreement to move on. "He has an expiring contract. The talks are not easy," sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told DAZN in November. "If there’s anything to be said about it, we’ll say it."
Süle is reportedly holding out for a little more money and reports suggest Bayern are keen to keep him, but not at any price. The club's decision to allow Alaba to join Real Madrid for nothing at the end of last season is proof they are not prepared to be held to ransom, even by their key players.
"It is legitimate that the players want their value," Bayern president Herbert Hainer told Sport1. "But it is also legitimate for us as a club to say that we are no longer willing to pay this money. We did that with David Alaba."
The case is different with Tolisso, who was Bayern's record signing when he arrived in 2017. A string of injuries and indifferent performances have seen him fail to leave a significant mark on the Bundesliga but, at 27, the former Lyon midfielder has time to rejuvenate his career. Clubs in the Premier League and Serie A are said to be interested, with Bayern perhaps ready to cut their losses if a suitable bid comes in this month.
That doesn't seem to have been the case for Coman though. His new deal is another show of strength from a club who, despite last week's loss to Gladbach, look primed to make it ten Bundesliga titles in a row. Unfortunately for the rest, they show no real sign of letting up.
Edited by James Thorogood.